Drunk in Public

California Drunk in Public and Public Intoxication

If you were arrested for being drunk in public (public intoxication) and charged with a violation of Penal Code section 647f, the prosecutor must prove that you were under the influence of alcohol or a drug and unable to care for your own safety or the safety of others or was blocking a public street or walkway. It’s possible to successfully fight this charge.

Drunk in public arrestMerely being under the influence of alcoholic beverages isn’t enough to prove this case in court beyond a reasonable doubt. California Penal Code Section 647(f), makes it illegal to be in any public place under the influence of alcohol or drugs in such a condition that you are unable to exercise care for your own safety or the safety of others, or to interfere with, obstruct or prevent the free use of any street, sidewalk, or other public way.

In most cases, the police do not obtain a chemical test such as a breath, blood or urine test to corroborate their observations. Often, the police are mistaken. In fact, many cities have paid large amounts of money in cases where an individual was arrested for being drunk in public, but was actually having a medical crisis.

Although a California public intoxication charge isn’t as serious as driving under the influence, it’s still a misdemeanor criminal offense that carries significant consequences as well as a criminal record. For that reason, you need a skilled local attorney to help you. Feel free to call this office to discuss your case with an attorney in complete confidence.